Digital Storytelling- Part II

Digital Storytelling Part I dealt with storytelling as being an ancient art form of teaching and why adapt and integrate this technique to support 21st century learning skills.

Part II will focus on available tools and how to choose the right one for a project.

The criteria for picking these tools were simple. The tools had to be free for educators to use. Since my school has all PC machines, two of the tools (PhotoStory and MovieMaker) are windows based only, but they do have a MAC equivalent (iMovie) to achieve the same effect. All other tools are cross platform.

The tools discussed in this guide are by all means not the only ones available. Every day new sites, programs, and new ideas are popping up on the web. Many of them seem to bring something new and exciting to the table for enhancing and simplifying our digital storytelling opportunities and abilities.

The hope of this guide is for you to gain an insight into the process of using the presented tools and then apply that knowledge when using a new tool.

As discussed in Part I

Storytelling, no matter in what form and created in whatever media is a powerful tool to transmit knowledge, culture, perspectives and points of view.

As an educator, a transmitter and catalyst of knowledge, you can choose to tell your own story to/for your students… or you can allow them to tell their stories in order to make sense of and connect to the world around them. I would suggest to start out with creating your own story, since it will give you an opportunity to experience the process before guiding your students through. This guide will not go into the writing process that is involved in creating a well thought out and memorable story. I will focus on the technology tools that can help bring the story to live. The process of writing, storyboarding and/or scripting is nevertheless an integral and important part in the storytelling process.

The next questions usually are:

  • Where do I go from here? How do I get started?
  • What media (text, audio, images, video) do I or my students need to tell the story?
  • How do I digitize analog media (non digital photos, my voice, documents, etc.)?
  • How do I prepare my students to create content for the story

The following visual is hoping to help you understand the logistical process of choosing the right media and consequently the appropriate program/tool to create a digital story. You can also use this visual in reverse order, if you are set on using a particular tool, it will help you choose the media that you will need in order to use it.

The tools mentioned for videos and images, of course, can use audio as well in order to communicate the story.  Google Maps allows you to embed already created videos and images, it does not allow you to create or edit them.

In upcoming blog posts , you will find individual step-by-step tutorials for each of the mentioned tools.

Overall, just keep in mind that each tool adheres to a similar process of  Import- Edit- Export.